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Delhi tree felling: Public Accounts Committee flays NBCC, says it committed 'serious irregularities'

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Delhi Legislative Assembly has stated in a report that NBCC committed 'serious irregularities' with respect to the felling of trees in the capital. The panel said that the NBCC displayed a casual attitude towards the health of residents of Delhi.

It stated that in Nauroji Nagar, 1,302 trees were felled and there was no compensatory plantation conducted, while as per the law, 14,650 saplings should have been planted.

Further, the panel observed, "The transplanted trees at the project site appeared to have been planted just a night before the committee inspection."

In Kidwai Nagar, the panel said that the NBCC was obligated to plant 8,165 trees at the project site. However, it said that it found only 3,195 plants there. The committee further observed, "As per NBCC’s classification of these compensatory plants, only 95 were native tree plants, rest 3100 were ornamental/decorative plants like palm trees/Champa etc."

 Delhi tree felling: Public Accounts Committee flays NBCC, says it committed serious irregularities

Protests against tree felling in Delhi. PTI

A panel of the Delhi Assembly visited the sites of the redevelopment projects in South Delhi to inspect the current status of felled trees and compensatory plantation by the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC).

The Centre's recent decision to cut over 14,000 trees for building over 25,000 flats for government employees in seven colonies of South Delhi has attracted widespread criticism from green activists, politicians and citizens.

The Delhi High Court had on 25 June ordered an interim stay on the tree chopping process in the city till 4 July.

Facing flak for the project, the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry, later in the day, stated that no tree would be cut in the national capital.

As per the ministry's plan, citizens will be invited to suggest places for transplanting trees.

The redevelopment project has also triggered a war of words between the major political parties.

On Thursday, the AAP blamed Congress for the project, claiming that it was conceived during the previous Manmohan Singh government at the Centre.

Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken "betrayed" party chief Rahul Gandhi by maintaining silence over the project, Bharadwaj alleged.

Rahul had hit out at the BJP and the AAP over felling of trees in the national capital for the project.

Taking to Twitter, he said even children know the importance of trees in life and urged people to stand by the Congress against it.

“In Delhi, the BJP with AAP's approval has hacked down thousands of trees in the past 4 years for development. Even children know that trees are critical to our survival and difficult to replace. Stand with the Congress and together let's fight this madness,” he tweeted.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jun 29, 2018 22:31:14 IST